Tomorrow, I fly out from Durban to Barcelona, then on to Ireland. There is the vertigo already, the heady feeling of plunging into a dream. That I will become again that person I haven’t met for so long – that side of myself who was once willing to take a ticket to anywhere, and not care about the consequences. Writers, in my inexperienced eyes, were people granted privileges of great freedom by the necessities of their craft. I was always going to be one. I busked in foreign cities between jobs to earn money as I travelled. I walked alone beside unknown rivers, and wrote the beginnings of endless stories beneath strange skies.
Eventually, I learned that writing is not a reward for when you get everything right. Rather, it’s a yearning or a longing; a dream that nestles sweetly in the cave of the heart, while you’re living your real life. Sometimes, rarely, between the dreaming and the work, writing offers up its own rewards. One of these intermittent moments came to land last year, when the Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation in London acknowledged my unpublished manuscript, The Hum of the Sun, with a beautifully engraved glass award, and the means to block out time from my life to travel, research, and write another work.
With this generosity, the reality of exploring the cities of Barcelona and Dublin finally becomes real. That inside pull intensifies with a whole lot of sweetness when I realise the mysterious truth that in the long run, things really do work out. Life, in its way, sometimes delivers these healthy measures of magic. Soon I will walk and write once more as I soak up the breath of these foreign cities. In just a day or two, I’ll once again be writing beneath another sky.